6 WEBSITE DESIGN MISTAKES TO AVOID…

…AND AN OPPORTUNITY AT THE END FOR YOU TO RANT!

Whether you are creating a website for business or personal use, you need to ensure that it is designed in a way that will make visitors want to engage with it. While the content on your website goes a long way towards making that happen, having a site that is not designed to be user-friendly can do real damage to the level of engagement it receives. If your site is guilty of any of the website design mistakes below, it might be time to consider a redesigned website or perhaps even build a new website altogether.

1. WEBSITE HARD TO NAVIGATE

The general rule of thumb with any website is that the visitor should be able to find what they want with just one or two mouse clicks. If they have to do any more than that, there is a greater chance that they will give up and move on. When designing, ensure that the navigation of your website is logical. Make sure that important pages can be reached easily and never force the user to return to the homepage just because that’s the only place that has obvious links to the rest of the site.

2. FONT AND COLOUR

Red and blue might be your favourite colours but that doesn’t mean they will be everyone else’s. It also doesn’t mean that they will translate well to the overall look of your site. The same rule applies with fonts. Don’t just pick what you like, pick what works well and is easy to read – straightforward and simple is generally best. When picking a font, make sure it is easy to read, and make sure it is ‘web safe’ (meaning that it can be seen on all operating systems and not just on a PC or a mac). Above all though, make sure that the colours and fonts you use work well within your overall branding. Ideally, you should have brand guidelines to follow, but if you don’t, just take a step back and try to make sure that your website looks consistent with your business cards, letterheads, printed advertisements, etc.

3. SCREEN RESOLUTION

The days of people going online on nothing but their desktop computer are long gone. Mobile devices are on the rise and, in some industries, views on smartphones and tablets have already overtaken desktop searches. That means your site will be viewed on all different screen sizes. If you do not have a responsive website design, where the size of the site automatically adjusts to that of the device the visitor is looking at it on, it will be harder to view. This is not only inconvenient for the user, but can damage your brand value and even lose you potential business.

4. CONSISTENCY

Creativity is never a bad thing, but every single page of your site should not be a unique work of art. Imagine how distracting it would be if you were reading a book where every page had a different layout. It would be confusing and frustrating. This is why your site should follow a consistent design, making it easier for users to instinctively know where to look for further information as they navigate around it.

5. TOO ‘FLASHY’

Moving parts on a website can certainly help catch the eye, but they can also be a terrible distraction. Some devices won’t display flash images at all, so your clever animation could appear as an imposing red cross. Too much animation can take away from what it is you want people to see on your site and, while not specifically a design consideration, a site that is built entirely in Flash is difficult for the search engines to crawl and index.

6. TOO MANY ADS

Advertising can be a great source of income for your website, but it can also be as distracting as Flash elements. All ads should be relevant to the site, add value to the user experience and be placed in a way that doesn’t distract from the main content on the website. There’s nothing worse than an annoying pop-up appearing and trying to sell you a product or service you don’t want, just as you are reading something interesting!

AND AS PROMISED, HERE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO RANT

So what frustrates you when you look at web design? Is it something from the list above, or are there other website design mistakes that you find just as frustrating?

I’m giving you permission to rant – who doesn’t love a good old moan!? So get in touch and let me know your thoughts.